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The Bend Magazine

Coastal Bend Native Starts New Reading Club

06/23/2020 02:22PM ● By Luis Arjona
By: Luis Arjona  Photo Courtesy of: Jeremiah Baldwin

With COVID-19 and constant news circulating, educating oneself can seem exhausting. By doing one's best to stay safe during the pandemic, self-isolation has proven to be a time of increased media consumption. With the Black Lives Matter movement making progress each day, it is important to learn the history preceding our current moment in time. Doing so will make strides to promote racial equity. Lucky for the Coastal Bend, a Corpus Christi native has taken it upon himself to encourage people to learn more about Black intellectualism by creating a virtual reading club. 

Jeremiah Baldwin is the creator of Baldwin’s Reading Club in partnership with Coffee Waves. This initiative exists as an outlet for himself, as well as an educational opportunity for those who would like to learn more and engage in conversation centered around Black authors and intellectuals and their works. While speaking with Jeremiah, he mentions his parents being a big part of the inspiration for the reading club. He also believes this is an amazing opportunity to cultivate a community that wants to learn and educate themselves through Black literature. 

When speaking more specifically as to why he started Baldwin’s Reading Club, Jeremiah mentioned the passing of his father, Donnie Ray Baldwin Sr. Jeremiah finds solace in reading the work of Black authors. Baldwin’s Reading Club is Jeremiah’s therapy and gift to us. He wrote more about the purpose on his Instagram. An excerpt pulled from his announcement post depicts the care and love Jeremiah has for his family and Baldwin’s Reading Club.

“I am beyond excited to announce the creation of Baldwin’s Reading Club via my Instagram account. The concept of reading has always been a passion of mine - I vividly remember sitting in my dad’s lap and him teaching me my spelling words or him telling me bed stories.”

The post goes on to read, “Because of my dad (a Black man) being my first teacher, I am pursuing this reading project in honor. I am using my last name, Baldwin, as the name of this project because Baldwin means access to education for me. I hope to inspire all youth, especially Black youth, to explore the readings of Black authors and intellectuals.”

“This project will help bridge that gap by featuring only Black authors,” he says.

Baldwin’s Reading Club will run for the remainder of the summer and will feature three reading selections that will be narrated. Jeremiah is also open to suggestions of works to be featured in the reading club.

Jeremiah provides graphics of what Baldwin’s Reading Club will be covering each week on his Instagram @jeremiah.baldwin. In addition to his weekly readings, he also recommends visiting the poetry of Maya Angelou, Freedom is a Constant Struggle: Ferguson, Palestine, and the Foundations of a Movement by Angela Davis, and How We Get Free: Black Feminism and the Combahee River Collective edited by Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor, if you so desire. 

Baldwin’s Reading Club started on Saturday, June 20th, 2020. There will be a weekly session meeting on Saturdays from 7 pm – 9 pm on his Instagram live. Jeremiah Baldwin will be going over three new readings each week. The next reading club meeting will be June 27th, 2020 at Coffee Waves on Alameda. This event will be privately held; however, the following Saturday, July 4th, 2020 will be open to the public. 

We look forward to seeing this community grow and take influence in the Coastal Bend and beyond!

Instagram: @jeremiah.baldwin

Time of Event: Saturdays from 7 PM – 9 PM CST

Location: Coffee Waves | 5738 S Alameda St, Corpus Christi, TX 78412